Kind Book Recommendations

World Kindness Day was November 13th, but every day is a good day to be kind! Here are five book recommendations for humans ages 3-99 that are great conversation starters about kindness:

Those Shoes

By Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

Jeremy is desperate for a pair of the cool new shoes all his classmates seem to have at school, but his grandmother can’t afford to buy him anything but sensible shoes. He finally gets a pair, but has to make a difficult decision when he notices a schoolmate with worn shoes.


Sidewalk Flowers

By Jon Arno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith

A wonderful wordless picture book (wordless books are woefully underappreciated—more on that in another post!) about a girl who picks flowers on a walk through her city and gives them away to those she passes along the way.


A Sick Day for Amos McGee

By Philip C. Stead, illustrated Erin E. Stead

When an elderly zookeeper who takes fastidious care of each of his charges falls ill, the animals in his care decide it’s time to tend to their sick friend.


Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

retold & illustrated John Steptoe

In this retelling of a folktale from modern-day Zimbabwe, Mufaro has two daughters: Nyasha, who is kind and generous, and Manyara, who is selfish and rude. When the two girls journey to meet the Great King, they are both rewarded according to their behavior.


Each Kindness

By Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Chloe’s generosity and courage is challenged when a new girl, Maya, comes to school and is mocked for being different. This story is different in that it deals with the consequences of choosing to be unkind.

Happy Reading!
Children’s Room & North Branch

Windows and Mirrors

Stephanie Seales, a library staff member who works both in the Children’s Room at the Main Library and at the North Branch, (and in her spare time is a book critic in the Young Readers division for Kirkus!) was recently on the radio:

“I was recently privileged to be featured on NPR station WCAI’s The Point for a short segment on children’s books (you’ll find me around the 25:00 minute mark). I shared a few new, quality titles that feature racially and ethnically diverse protagonists. When children and teens read books that serve as both windows & mirrors, they increase their capacity for empathy and expand their worldview. The following titles are the ones I highlighted on The Point and have appeal to a broad audience:

PICTURE BOOKS (roughly ages 3-8)

One Word from Sophia illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail and written by Jim Averbeck

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, illustrated by Rafael López and written by Margarita Engle (sadly, didn’t make it onto the show)

MIDDLE GRADE (roughly ages 8-12)

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander


Princeless, written by Jeremy Whitley and illustrated by M. Goodwin & Jules Rivera

Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur, Volume I: BFF by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Natacha Bustos

Young Adult (roughly ages 14 & up)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (sadly, also didn’t make it onto the show)”


Summer Reading Suggestions!

Hello Summer! As teachers and school staff wind down the school year, children’s departments in public libraries across the country are gearing up for summer reading! Here in the FPL Children’s Room, we’ve got lots of great upcoming events for our summer reading program entitled, “Build a Better World.” Some programs that I’m particularly looking forward to are the Summer Reading Kick Off Party, Saturday Cinema at the Library, and the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. See the FPL EventKeeper calendar for more events and info!

As a supplement to school summer reading lists, I’ve created a list of FPL Summer 2017 Recommended Reads. This is my third year creating such a list and at the risk of tooting my own horn, I have to say I think this is the best one yet. Not only is the design better (highly recommend for any readers who are looking for a good, free design program), but this year I’ve added pictures of the recommended books’ covers to make finding them easier. I am also intentional in including a diverse array of quality titles that serve as windows and mirrors for all readers! There is something for everyone here so stop by the FPL Children’s Room to find the book that’s right for you!

Stephanie Seales, Children’s Room

Come See our New Doll House!

The Children’s Room has some new inhabitants. Barbie moved to Barbados, and the Franklin Family moved into the Falmouth Public Library! Come meet Mr. and Mrs. Franklin, (Frank and Fiona) and their kids Fred, Florence, and baby Francis. They have a dog named Fido, and a fabulous assortment of furniture to get your fingers on. They’ve invited a few friends over to play, and they’re waiting for you to play too! It’s all thanks to the fantastic Friends of the Falmouth Library, who saw fit to fund this fantabulous addition to our facility. This is no fabrication or folly, so bring the little folks down to fabricate some fun!

First Tales Early Literacy Program

Do you know anyone due to deliver a baby in the month of May? And will she be having this baby at the Falmouth Hospital?  If the answer is yes, let her know that the first fifty babies born at the Falmouth Hospital in the month of May will receive a brand-new copy of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon and are eligible to receive a limited edition onesie when the new parent and baby come to the Children’s Room at the Falmouth Public Library to apply for a new library card. Our goal is to emphasize that the earlier you start reading to a baby, the better!

Questions?  Call the Children’s Room at 508-457-2555 x5.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library and the Early Childhood Resource Center at Falmouth Public Library (funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care), supported by the generosity of Flying Pig Pottery and Howlingbird Studio, and made possible because of the help of Dr. Jean Talbert, Paula Cronin, and the staff at the Falmouth Hospital Birthing Center.

Collections in the Children’s Room

One of the highlights of the Children’s Room is the pair of display cases in the middle of the room. These two glass cases feature the collections of our young patrons. The collections are displayed for a month, and have ranged from puppets, to bookmarks, to horse figurines. In January we were lucky enough to have Zachary M.’s collection of rocks, and Miya M.’s collection of handicrafts.

Zachary, shown here with his younger sister Leanna, has always liked collecting things, from coins to found objects.

In this photo, Miya is shown with her mother and grandmother. The three enjoy making hand-made objects together. 

The waiting list for displaying a collection is over a year long, but the display changes every month. Plan on coming down to the Children’s Room to see THIS month’s collections-fairies and bookmarks. See you in the Children’s Room!

Laura Ford, Children’s Librarian

Holiday Fun!

Donna Skinner writes from the Children’s Dept:

Last night was the Falmouth Public Library’s annual Holiday Pajama Storytime at Highfield Hall. This event is a collaborative effort with The Coalition for Children and The West Falmouth Library. There were stories read, songs sung, and dancing snowflakes! Our staff and patrons received a warm welcome from Highfield Hall. There were wonderful holiday stories read, but one book, according to its cover, is “perfect for any occasion”.  The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell is a simple story of a cat named Mooch pondering the perfect gift for his friend Earl the dog, who already has everything.  Mooch discovers the perfect gift would be nothing, and he sets out to find it. This story explores the meaning of friendship and gift-giving, and has a lovely ending with two friends sitting together, enjoying nothing and everything. Please stop by the Children’s Department if you would like any book suggestions for your family this season. 

Summer Reading Begins!

Summer Reading Signups start today! The Summer Reading Program encourages families with kids of all ages to read during the summer. Participants are given a chance to pledge how much time they would like to read each day when they sign up. The suggested time is 20 minutes a day, but you can read more! Read on your own, have someone read to you, or listen to an audio book—it all counts! Small prizes are awarded each week to children who reach their reading goal. Registration is open anytime between today, June 22, 2010 and July 24th. Children who are visiting Falmouth are warmly invited to join in. Sign up at the Main Library or at the East Falmouth or North Falmouth Branches. (Participants also get to write their names on leaves and put them on our lovely tree. By the end of the summer we hope it will be fully leafed out.You’ll of course want to pop in to help us out!)

Come down to the library to grab a copy of the summer reading brochure for the schedule for Special Tuesday Programs, Wednesday afternoon craft days, book groups, pajama story times, and all the rest of the summer fun. Young Adult activities are also listed in the brochure, so get your copy today.

Our first program is Tuesday June 29th at 3pm. It’s called “Hats Off to Reading,” stars Keith Michael Johnson, and is sure to be a raucous good time. See you there!

Questions? Call the Children’s Room at 508-457-2555 ext. 2920.

What Laura’s Reading

You may have heard around the stacks that I’ve left the Reference Department to become the Children’s Librarian here at FPL. Among other things it’s a move from part-time work to full-time work, so I will have less time for reading. On the other hand, children’s books are generally shorter than grownup’s books. Will this translate into more or less book blogging? Only time will tell.

Right now I’m luxuriating in the wonderful collection we have down here in the Children’s room. I’m like a kid in a candy store, gobbling up books like gumdrops, stopping to savor a new picture book from a favorite illustrator here, an old favorite novel there.

One new (to me) author that just popped into my bookbag is Rebecca Stead. Her When You Reach Me (suggested for grades 5-8) was enjoyable on so many levels. I listened to it on cd, and though I must disclose that I have never lived in New York City, narrator Cynthia Holloway sounded pitch-perfect to me.

I like a multi-layered story, and this book brought to the table mother-daughter relationships, middle school friendships, kids’ awareness of the disparity in wealth from one family to another, and prejudice. The main character’s favorite book was Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 Newbery award-winning A Wrinkle In Time and I was thrilled with how that book became a plot point of this book. There were also faint little whispers of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife and John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany but if I told you what they were the story would be spoilt for you. So read all four (including A Wrinkle in Time) and then we’ll talk. In the meantime, I’ve got Stead’s sequel, First Light, waiting for me at home. With any luck, I’ll find time to read it soon.